Fasting has been promoted for various reasons for centuries, but it’s only recently that researchers have been able to investigate the health benefits from doing strict fasting for days at a time.
Fasting is thought to induce various changes in the body that help protect the cells from damage that may occur from the environment, and trigger pathways in the body which may increase health and possibly lifespan.
My own experience with fasting
Fasting is something that I’ve done over the years in many forms. I’ve restricted my eating to only a few hours of the day and had long periods where I didn’t eat for up to 16 hours. I’ve fasted for one day of the week for 24 hours for many years. I’ve found that fasting seems to me mentally, to help me focus better.
It was always difficult to objectively tell whether or not fasting was helpful to myself, because I’ve done calorie restriction for such a long time, and this by itself has very good results in terms of improving health markers and improving health.
Fasting has always been pretty easy to do for me, but I’ve found calorie restriction to be just easier. Not only that, calorie restriction has a lot more data to back up the health and longevity benefits.
There is no doubt that fasting is beneficial to health, but it’s still up for question whether or not it can really extend lifespan significantly without any reduction in calories. That being said, people who fast, may automatically have their caloric intake reduced anyway.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick speaks to Valter Longo, who was a student of the calorie restriction researcher and pioneer Roy Walford. During the last few years, he has demonstrated that prolonged fasting is able to rejuvenate the immune system so that it is in a more youthful state, as well as induces anti-cancer effects, and helps prevent side effects from cancer therapies in humans.
He also mentions how fasting may improve the health or even cure people with autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. I’ve previously shared one recent study showing how fasting rejuvenates the immune system.
Valter Longo has recently written a book which is not yet available in English. I was just made aware that an English version of his book “The Longevity Diet“ will be available in January 2018.
Related articles: Is fasting good for you?
Reviewed and updated: 08/2018